Frank looks at the bill and curses himself for listening to his friend. ‘It’s a great place to eat’ the words spin in his mind. The service slow, plates cold, a tough steak has given him indigestion.
Said friend asks ‘How was your meal at The Ivy?’ There are three possible replies. ‘Yes, Ok, but I wasn’t impressed’ – ‘No, I did not like it’ or ‘What a terrible meal, you’re recommendation cost a fortune and made me ill, I’ll never trust your judgement again, sod off and leave me alone.’ It has been a difficult day, having discovered someone has taken his summer holiday slot! Frank choses the last reply option, a friend is lost even though the restaurants chef is to blame.
Some time later Frank needs the lawnmower which he’d lent to the food critic ‘Can I come over to collect my lawnmower?’ ‘Fuck you, the mower wouldn’t start, I lost my thumb of trying to fix it.’ ‘Yes, but where is my mower?’ The phone is silent. The following week a writ arrives informing of an intent to sue.
The lawyer believes there is no need to worry about a claim, his advise is to give the documentation to the household insurers legal department. The fifteen minutes consultation costs 125.55, plus half a days work. Time which Frank has exchanged for a full day at the store this coming Sunday. During the drive home he remembers Sunday is the day of his sons 18th birthday barbecue. In a moment of anger he accelerates the old car onto the main road too hard and fails to see a motorcyclist overtaking a truck just before the junction. The rider swerves to avoid colliding with Frank, hits an oncoming van and is killed instantaneously.
Officer Vicky Oliver smugly informs the hapless driver ‘Sorry sir, the test is positive by one point.’ Drinking the half bottle of whisky late last night to ‘settle-down’ his worries over the lawyers appointment was about to become more than the hangover headache. Vicky guess’s he’ll be charged with causing the death of the motorcyclist whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Frank leaves the police station and phones the store manager to inform him of the days disasters. ‘No problem Frank, see you tomorrow.’ Tom the manager calls back ‘You haven’t forgotten Sunday Frank have you?’ In his mind he’s about to tell him to stuff his job, he manages to reply ‘Of course not Tom, I’ll be at the store at six.’ ‘Ok’ a pause and Tom finishes with ‘You’re secrets safe with me’ Frank has killed a motorcyclist and Tom thinks he can keep the scandal a secret. No hope, not a one. He’s right, the motorcyclists wife discovers where Frank works and harasses him at the store ‘I’ll have to let you go Frank, the company cannot employ you under the circumstances.’
Frank is in the holding cell below the court. ‘Three years is a little high’ the convict is more than aware of the severity of the tariff and does not need to be reminded by the pimple faced lawyer. The divorce has been difficult ‘You never tell me anything, you’re a idiot Frank’ his wife’s last words. Nothing really matters anymore.
During the journey to the prison Frank curses the meal at The Ivy and not for the first time. He knows the missing chef never will be reunited with his family, he dug a deep grave out on the moors.
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